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Off the News

For Thursday, November 10, 2011


Welcome to the party, Mr. Chang, and good luck

The Hawaii Republican Party is putting on a fresh political face in electing business David S. Chang as its new chairman.

Chang, a West Point graduate, is chief executive officer and president of Chang Holding Co., which comprises companies including renovation firm CS Design Builders and wealth-management company WealthBridge Inc. Last year, he ran unsuccessfully against Rep. Karl Rhoads for the Chinatown-Downtown House seat.

Let's hope the new blood rejuvenates the party, giving voters strong choices in next year's election. Chang, for one, was optimistic in an email asking for support before his election Saturday: "Together, I believe we can propel our party to new heights."

Charter schools' pocketbook pitch: Hey, we're free

With the after-effects of a global recession causing average household incomes to drop, the latest report from the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, showing an enrollment decline for the fourth consecutive year, surprised few parents struggling to pay tuition.

The charter schools movement may be trying to woo these students. One example: A national radio ad is making the pitch that charter schools are tuition-free opportunities.

Locally, charters have taken their share of heat — a scandal over nepotism practiced by administrators, for instance. Will that deflect parents from taking the plunge into the charter-school alternative? Or will they be lured by the typically smaller class sizes at public-school prices?

Some studies around the country show charters haven't drained private-school enrollments that much. But it will be interesting to see where things stand a year from now.

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